If you traveled across Europe in the 1990s, you know how difficult it was to cross borders. You had to stop at every border post, queue in the long wait lines, and endure the ignominy of the occasional frisking by a security agent. Thankfully, this lengthy process is no longer the case due to changes in European law.
Remarkably, you can now cross 26 European countries without fishing out your passport. Many consider this a tremendous change that has greatly enriched the lives of tourists and residents alike. Because of the change, there are now several abandoned border crossings that are waiting for you to come to explore.
Visiting the Desolate European Borders
You can still visit these deserted border crossings. Indeed, taking a tour around Europe’s vacant border posts is a most revealing experience. It gives visitors a rare glimpse of what the face of Europe looked like decades ago.
Walking the border between Hungary and Austria, you’ll meet some abandoned sentry boxes that epitomize the ghost status of the yesteryears’ border patrol systems. Moreover, you’ll soon discover that some of these memorable landmarks in the French and German borderlines are now converted to different facilities like restaurants or museums.
Let’s explore two locations that used to be large border crossings.
Visiting Ukraine’s Historic Oleshky Sands
Ukraine’s Oleshky sands are renowned as Europe’s second-largest sandy expanse. It’s is among Ukraine’s most striking natural spectacles. Experts classify this place as a semi-desert due to its fluctuating temperatures and rainfall levels. There’s no doubt that Ukraine’s Oleshky Sands boasts a rather unusual history.
In the early 1900s, a sheep breeder is reported to have brought in varieties of sheep. However, before long, the sheep exhausted the grass. Soon, fierce winds smashed through the area. The ground eroded, revealing sand deposits beneath. And suddenly, a desert was born.
If you visit the area now, you’ll find that the ribbed dunes are gently sloping into the distance. Moreover, the place is enriched with lush green pine forests and secluded oases. When you’re done sampling these magnificent features, you can end the day by visiting the thrilling town of Optima Kherson.
Touring Poland’s Picturesque Bledow Desert
Europe has long enjoyed a distinguished reputation as the pinnacle of natural beauty. If you love adventure and plan to tour this area, visit one of the deserts, it will be a truly unforgettable experience.
Many who toured Poland’s Bledow desert in the 1900s generally thought the desert was a mirage. If you have ever visited the desert, you know it evokes nostalgic visions of the rugged Tatra Mountains and the glistening Masurian Lakes. Of course, this is also the home of the picturesque Bledow Desert, otherwise known as the “Polish Sahara.”
This primarily tidy sandy area is nestled between the native Polish villages of Klucze and Chechlo. A keen observer will note that the spectacle is a rare combination of natural coincidence and raw human activity. Due to the effects of deforestation, which is discernable by visitors, you’ll notice that considerable glacier activity has produced deep sandy layers that lie securely below the ground.
Significantly, the famous Bledow is Poland’s only desert. It offers a unique experience characterized by a scenic desert heritage. The best way to reach the desert is to travel by car. This is the ideal place to take your kids, showing them this one of a kind destination.
Once you’re done viewing the desert, you can proceed to the Ogrodzieniec’s Hotel Pod Figura. Here, you might decide to talk a walk around the crumbling ruins of the medieval Ogrodzieniec Castle; and yes, this castle is said to be haunted by unknown dark powers.
Making a tour around Europe’s deserted border crossings is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. Many consider these desolate open European borders a significant milestone that adds a feather to the cap of European integration. The free borders have also facilitated tourism, travel, supply chains, and trade across the bloc besides engineering faster economic growth in the surrounding areas.
Any well-traveled European adventurer should visit one of these picturesque destinations. Most likely, this peculiar experience will remain etched on your mind for a long time and leave you itching to explore more abandoned border crossings and their surrounding beauties.